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Amer

3.7 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

An eroticized homage to 1970s Italian giallo horror films. H‚lŠne Cattet and Bruno Forzani's pastiche tour-de-force plays out a delirious, enigmatic, almost wordless death-dance of fear and desire. Its three movements, each in a different style, correspond to the childhood, adolescence, and adulthood of its female protagonist. Drawing its stylized, hyperbolic gestures from the playbooks of Bava, Leone, Argento and De Palma and taking them into a realm of near-abstraction. Amer has genre in the blood. Its bold widescreen composition, super-focused sound and emphatic music (lifted from original giallo soundtracks), and razor-sharp cuts make for an outrageous and intoxicating cinematic head-trip. Featuring music from composers Stelvio Cipriani, Bruno Nicolai and the legendary Ennio Morricone.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Cassandra Foret, Charlotte Eugene Guibeaud, Marie Bos, Bianca Maria D'Amato, Harry Cleven
  • Directors: Helene Cattet, Bruno Forzani
  • Writers: Helene Cattet, Bruno Forzani
  • Producers: Eve Commenge, Francois Cognard
  • Format: Subtitled, NTSC, Anamorphic, Color, Widescreen
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Unrated
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Olive Films
  • DVD Release Date: October 4, 2011
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B005E7AOPK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #126,336 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Blu-ray
This is what horror cinema should be. A great mix of a classic genre (Giallo) and avant-garde cinema.
Most just dismiss as pretentious, but those that do probably just want T&A slasher style only, no substance. This
film has substance and more.
One of the best attempts at the giallo genre since the 70s.
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Format: DVD
What Blue Velvet is to the detective genre, Amer is to the giallo. Amer takes all of the tropes, both visual and aural, of the giallo and condenses them down into pure abstraction. It is probably best enjoyed as three separate short films, each about a distinct time in the protagonist's (Ana) life:

The first (and in my opinon, best) segment is seen through the eyes of the child (maybe six years old?) Ana observing the adults of her world dealing with the death of their elderly patriarch. The mood is gothic and fairy-tale like, with unnaturally saturated colors and dream-like juxtapositions.

The second segment follows the now teenage protagonist on a trip into town with her mother to perform errands. The style of shooting (and sound design) turn this mundane task into a sensual awakening, and a growing awareness of the power of Ana's sexual allure. The atmosphere is distinctly different from the first segment, set in summer at a sea-side town in France (I'm assuming). A lot of reviewers found this transition too jarring to recover from, but again, look at this as three movies and it won't bother you.

The third segment is a return to the gothic house of the first segment, now run down and abandoned. The protagonist is now mature, in her 30's, and appears to be trying to reconcile her feelings about the place. This is the most classically "giallo" of all the sections, as she is apparently stalked by a black-gloved killer with a straight razor.

There is little dialog in the first segment, and virutally none of any significance in the second and third. A narrative is present, is not all that cryptic if you pay attention, but really is a background element to the atmosphere. And what an atmosphere Amer creates!
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Format: Blu-ray
(Contains mild spoilers) "Amer" has cinematically clever visuals, but in the end it turns into a too long exposition of the possible consequences of sexual repression among the Belgian rural bourgeoisie. As seen through a little girl's eyes, the first part dedicated to the childhood of a woman called Ana, is a fascinating tale filled with horror images that illustrate the child's fears: in the way horror films touch our most private emotions and evoke our childhood interpretations of reality, these images correspond to that phase in Ana's growth. The second part is perhaps the most erotic of the three phases in Ana’s life, starting with the transition to adolescence, filled with visions of soft skin, pubic hair and a most curious ant that comes out of her belly button. This section is treated as a sunny melodrama of the aging Italian mother's jealousy of her pretty daughter, as young Ana attracts all the males' attention, while mamma dyes her hair in the local beauty parlor, and frustrates the girl's awkward attempts to connect with boys. For the third section, it is interesting that -in these days of shaven, tattooed males- the directors decided to illustrate the transition to adulthood with downy hairs, fuzzy male arms, as in the sequence in the train, where adult Ana is surrounded by male passengers. But this third part is inevitably the less attractive, for this time all the hallucinations are but the tired expression of Ana's repression. She has apparently let life and fulfilment pass her by, so her return to the sumptuous and beautiful villa by the sea, where she grew up, inexorably leads to tragedy. An unusual drama, intelligently told, but I would have been grateful for a shorter running time, especially in this third sad section.
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Format: Blu-ray
Bruno Forzani admits ‘Tenebrae’ as the main inspiration for this movie having seen it 17 times and as a self confessed Giallo fan. There is a lot in the film that owes a great deal to Dario Argento and the infamous Italian exploitation style of 1970s and 1980s cinema, but ‘Amer’ unfortunately fails to tick all of the boxes even for Giallo fanatics.
For the uninitiated, Argento films have certain trademarks: murder, pedestrian police work, clunky dialogue, all wrapped up in a delightful mix of High Art and Ham. The sets are sophisticated and stylish, the women gorgeous, in peril and as mad as march hares. The men just as barking, but the experience of Argento features is quite different to that ‘Amer’ evokes.
With a definitive three act structure following the sensual life of a girl, adolescent, and then woman, Amer has little or no dialogue, which makes this film hard work, albeit fascinating. What the directors have done here is take all of the stylings of Argento – but missed the elements that give Dario’s work heart and charm – the sense of unapologetic amateurism in delivery – especially of the acting and plot, if not in the camerawork. ‘Amer’ by contrast is far too self-conscious to evoke the same kin d of response in an audience. The first act of the film is by far the best and most effecting with the child Ana ‘interacting’ with the corpse of a dead father whose spirit is trapped in a silver locket, whilst escaping the menace of a black lace veiled woman. The sound effects are brilliant as is the performance of the young Ana, played by Charlotte Eugene Guibeaud, and this delivers a fairy tale quality that makes it stand out from the following two acts that re although visually stunning – induce impatience and bewilderment.
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